Item 1393 - Speech at the unveiling of the Danie Theron Monument

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ZA COM MR-S-1393


Speech at the unveiling of the Danie Theron Monument


  • 2002-03-06 (Creation)

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Transcription of speech made by Mr Mandela

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(18 July 1918-5 December 2013)

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Migrated from the Nelson Mandela Speeches Database (Sep-2018).

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Opening of the refurbished statue of Danie Theron

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  • Afrikaans
  • English

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Part of speech is in Afrikaans


Dit is 'n besondere voorreg om vandag hier saam met u te kan deel in 'n geleentheid wat vir Afrikaners van soveel geskiedkundige en emosionele belang is.

Ek is naturlik bewus van die debat of dit behoorlik is vir my om hier aanwesig te wees en op te tree.

En ek dink dit is goed dat mense die vrymoedigheid het om sulke vrae en menings in die openbaar te opper.

Dit sou nie goed wees vir die gees van ons demokrasie as mense verplig voel om hul gevoelens of menings weg te steek net omdat hulle nie 'n oud-president aanstoot wou gee nie.

Ek verwelkom dit dat daardie debat in die openbaar gevoer is, en u kan verseker wees dat ek nie aanstoot geneem het daaroor nie.

Dit is een van die dinge waaroor ons trots kan voel in ons land: dat mense nou mag durf van mekaar verskil en dat ons daardie verskille op 'n beskaafde manier binne die raamwerk van ons Grondwet kan uitdruk en uitleef.

I take great pride in the invitation extended to me to be present here today. When I was approached a year or two ago to lend my support to fund-raising efforts for work at the Voortrekker Monument, I had no hesitation in responding positively to the request. And I indicated then that if there was ever anything more that I could do to assist, it would be only a privilege to do so.

My acceptance of your kind invitation was also in the spirit of that undertaking. Not that I regard it as a chore to be here; your invitation is for me an expression of the sense of family that we are creating and establishing amongst the different communities of our nation.

That I hold the Afrikaner people in particular esteem is no secret. That we have had grave and deep differences with some of the political leaders from this community and with the racial policies emanating from them, in no way detracts from our sense of appreciation of the role of Afrikaners in building our common land.

It is not to put one community against the other when we note the deep rootedness of the Afrikaner people in this African soil of ours. And they are the one part of the white communities that has fought a war of liberation against imperial domination. It may be argued that the outcome of that struggle in turn led to the domination of others, but that shared experience of fighting for one's freedom binds us in a manner that is profound.

My eie vorming as 'n vryheidsvegter is diep beïnvloed deur my kennismaking met die work en lewe van Afrikaner-vryheidsvegters. Denyz Reitz se "On commando" is een van die boeke wat ek noukeurig bestudeer het. En my bewondering vir Christiaan de Wet het ek op vele geleenthede al uitgespreek. Die Boere-generaals staan trots in die ry van Suid-Afrikaanse helde.

I am proud to pay homage to the memory of another brave Boer fighter in the person of Kommandant Danie Theron whom we remember here today.

Danie Theron is one of those names with great evocative power in the gallery of Afrikaner heroes. His exploits and feats of bravery against the might of the British army during the Anglo-Boer War are legendary. And he died in action, a brave warrior to the end.

We pay our tributes to him. And we share in his memory with his family and descendants present here today.

We want to believe that the patriotism for which Danie Theron was so renowned, would in the present circumstances have translated into a passion that we jointly build and develop this country for the common good of all.

I am also aware that there are sensitivities and resentments about the changing of place names currently underway. I want to believe that South Africans who together managed to avert bloodshed through peacefully negotiating their future, can in a matter of this kind once more find processes that accommodate the aspirations as well as the anxieties of all.

My hope, as we together celebrate Danie Theron's memory today, is that we shall increasingly develop the sense of sharing in each other's heritage in this country. We are one people with a common destiny, the fortunes of one community inextricably bound to those of all others. The diversity of our history and of our present is strength and a pool of human wealth.

Laat ons uit ons verskillende geskiedenisse neem wat goed is; en laat ons daarop voortbou vir ons gesamentlike toekoms.

Ek dank u.

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Acquisition method: From hard drive ; Source: Nelson Mandela Foundation Prof J Gerwel. Accessioned on 02/02/2010 by Zintle Bambata




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